Our sense organs allow us to experience and to be aware of our world. And one of the greatest gifts of being human is the gift of sight. It goes without saying that protecting your eyes is one of the most important things you can do in life. Our eyesight accounts for eighty percent of what we perceive through our sense organs.
Over a thousand eye injuries occur daily in the workplace, and an estimated 1.1 to 2.4 million eye injuries happen a year with 42,000 requiring hospitalization. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health states about 2,000 workers in the U.S. sustain job related injuries that happen each day that require medical treatment.
More eye injuries happen at home due to the misuse of garden equipment and tools, household products or tools from the workshop, with forty percent of the injuries happening in the yard or garden. According to the National Society to Prevent Blindness, over sixty percent of all product related injuries occur around and in the home.
The good news is that simply simply taking precautions and using protective eyewear can prevent ninety percent of all eye injuries. I am very active around the house and in the yard. I love to use the leaf blower, weed eater and putter around the house. However, there have been several times I have escaped injury but by grace alone. The debris and dust from using the weed eater will just irritate my eyes and a few times there have been rocks or sticks that have hit me in the head, very close to my eyes. I have even been scratched close to my eye by briars and limbs. Now, as I am getting older, I am realizing more the importance of wearing protective eyewear as I work outside. These few close calls were a wake-up call to be smart and protect my sense of vision.
Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America says, “All too often when we are working around the house and doing chores that we’ve done a thousand times before without incident, we forget about the risks we take by not protecting our eyes. But all it takes is one split second accident that could damage your vision for a lifetime.”
Anytime you work in the yard or around the house, protect your eyes! Aside from being exposed to flying debris traveling at a high rate of speed, when we work in the yard, we are also at risk from fungus from the plant materials themselves that can get in the eye, and exposure to chemicals and fertilizers.
Prevent Blindness America suggests while working in the yard, to check for debris before mowing, wear safety glasses with side protection or goggles while mowing, wear safety glasses or goggles under a face shield while using a weed eater, wear goggles while working with power saws or trimmers, wear goggles to protect yourself from fertilizers, pesticides, lime dust and other yard chemicals, follow all product instructions, obey warnings on all yard chemicals and equipment, and turn off all power tools when near an unprotected by stander, especially young children.
And don’t forget, 90% of all eye injuries can be avoided simply by wearing protective eyewear and taking precauitons while you work outdoors.
After all, you want to be able to see that beautiful yard of yours when you are finished.